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Posts Tagged ‘#ShannaHatfield’

Stack of books

Today, I’m sharing a little about some of my book projects that are in the works.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I recently signed a contract with TwoDot Books for a Christmas project for 2019. I’ve been frantically working on it the last month or two and will continue at a hectic pace to wrap it all up by the end of the year. It truly is so much fun for me because it combines so many things that I love: cowboys, cooking, baking, decorating, Christmas, entertaining, gift-wrapping (yes, I love to wrap gifts and I know I’m weird!).

In addition to that project, I have eight (that’s right EIGHT) new sweet romances releasing between next week and Christmas.

DOHH Meme Long

Dream of Her Heart releases Sept. 27 and is book three in the Hearts of the War series set during World War II.

This book pulled me back into research from the 1940s (which I enjoy so much), and allowed me to revisit the characters from the first two stories, tying them together in a fun way.

Just because… here’s a little teaser from the book:

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Drops of rain started to fall and she looked up as Zane stepped in front of her.

“Care to dance with me?” he asked, holding out his hands.

Billie knew the smart thing to do was to climb in the car, shut the door, and wait for him to drive her home. But her heart overruled her head.

“I’d like that,” she said in a low voice she barely recognized as her own. Zane swept her into his arms as the singer on the radio crooned “The Very Thought of You.”

While a soft spring rain fell around them, Zane danced her around in circles, humming along to the song. Billie wondered if he had any idea what he was doing to her. The damage the romantic song with the even more romantic moment was inflicting on her heart.

“It’s just the thought of you,” he whispered as the singer sang the last line of the song.

One moment they were dancing and the next Zane had bracketed her face with his hands and was kissing the rain drops from her eyelids, her cheeks, her lips.

The second his mouth brushed hers, Billie felt the impact of the touch throughout every cell of her body. When he wrapped her in his arms and lifted her up, she slid her arms around his neck and gave herself over to the passionate exchange.

Oh, the man could kiss! His lips tantalized hers in a dance far more exquisite than any their feet might have executed. And he tasted heavenly — rich, dark, and decidedly decadent.

In that moment, Billie knew she was lost. Lost to emotions she hadn’t anticipated, to a love she’d most certainly not expected. Lost to the possibilities of what the future might hold with Zane by her side.

You can pre-order the book today.

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The rest of the of the books that are heading your way are Christmas stories!

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November 8 is my fifth annual Cowboys and Christmas release party that not only helps raise funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, but also celebrates the release of a new holiday book.

This year, the book releasing that date is the sixth book in the Rodeo Romance series! It’s titled Racing Christmas.

The story is about a barrel racer and a pickup man. She hates him, he’s never gotten over his love for her. Should make for some fun reading, don’t you think?

Stay tuned… I’ll have a cover reveal and more info about Racing Christmas soon!

Well, that covers two books. You’re probably wondering about the other six, right?

Four of the books are a new holiday series I’m super-duper excited about. I’ve been wanting to write this series for the past three years and just never managed to work them into my schedule. So I began this year by spending January writing them. The books are full of laughs and love and heartwarming moments. And animals. Did I mention wacky, crazy, lovable animals who almost steal the show?

I hope you’ll fall in love with them as much as I have. If you want to get the first look at this series, be sure to attend my Cowboys and Christmas release party where I’ll do a cover reveal and share more about the stories.

Then there were two… more projects.

I’m working with five other authors on an awesome holiday series and although I can’t tell you anything about it today, I can on Oct 1, so be sure to check back then!

And last, but not least, I plan to release another book in the Hardman Holidays series. I have yet to write said book, so I have no idea on the release date, but if all goes well, it will be early December! If you have any characters you are particularly interested in seeing in this book, let me know!

So there you have it… the many book projects I’m working on right now!

 

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Labor Day weekend, one of the occupants of our home (raising hand in air as the guilty party) freaked out at the rapidly growing blackness that had been spreading across the backsplash behind the kitchen sink.

It had started as a few gnarly looking spots that ,while not pleasing to the eye, weren’t all that noticeable.

Then, as the summer progressed, so did the icky stain behind the “tile.”

When the dark stains began to seemingly multiple overnight, we decided to rip it out and replace it. (It was not a long thought-out decision, but one of haste driven by panic!) I had visions of black mold taking over the entire kitchen. Every worst-case scenario flew through my head.

It took no time to pull off the backsplash and discover three startling facts:

  1. The backsplash “tile” was not tile at all but vinyl flooring.
  2. The “tile” had been attached to thin sticks (think shims) and glued to the wall.
  3. There was not a lick of sheetrock to be found behind the whole mess.

Since we hope to completely gut the kitchen and do a major renovation in a few years, we just needed a temporary fix. But one better than than flimsy sticks and linoleum.

So I did some searching online and found Smart Tiles. These are basically big 3-D stickers that look like real tile. You can get them in a variety of patterns and styles.

There are a number of companies that produce them, but Smart Tiles was the only one I found that guarantee their tiles to stick. (Yes, I read enough Amazon reviews on the various tiles to know that can be a problem if you don’t follow the directions.)

The tiles can be applied over a variety of surfaces, but our problem was we basically had nothing to attach them to beyond the studs from the walls. Our first step was to put up sheet rock.

Only the tiles won’t stick to sheet rock. So we painted them with primer made specifically for sheet rock (which has to cure for 72 hours before you can attach the tiles).

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When the waiting period for the primer was over, I assembled my tools, which included a cutting mat, an exacto knife, and a ruler.

The tiles I chose are glossy subway-style tiles. They come so the ends notch together seamlessly. In a corner, you simply cut away the notches to get a straight edge. Super easy!

And applying them to the wall was a very simple process.

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I couldn’t be happier with the end result. Are they tiles that will last for twenty years? No. But they will look nice until we get around to that full-blown kitchen remodel!

The day we ripped out the backsplash, I decided since the kitchen was a disaster anyway, I might as well turn on the self-cleaning cycle on my oven.

Apparently, the stove took exception to being cleaned, because it died. Like, totally died, dude!  And since nothing beyond an expensive repair bill would resuscitate it, we decided to order a new one.

I felt pretty fortunate to find a Labor Day sale with appliances 40 percent off, then another 10% discount if I ordered online. So… I talked CC into getting a new refrigerator while we were at it. The fridge we’d been using worked fine, mostly. I’d recently noticed some leaking (and it didn’t have an ice maker or water in the door) so the leak was not a good sign. Seventeen years ago when we bought our house, the fridge came with it and it wasn’t new then. It was time for an upgrade.

The only problem… the appliances would take three weeks to get here.

Three weeks! Since our old fridge was still working, that wasn’t a problem. But three weeks with no stove? Especially when I’m elbow deep in working on recipes for my Cowboy Christmas book project?

It was a long three weeks, but when the appliances arrived this week, I decided it was worth that wait!

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I love, love, love my new stove and fridge!

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DOHH Meme Long

I’m excited to announce Dream of Her Heart (Hearts of the War Book 3) will release Sept. 27 on Amazon!

You can pre-order your copy now, or wait until then and get it through Kindle Unlimited.

The book is about Lieutenant Zane West and Nurse Billie Brighton. If you read Garden of Her Heart, Zane was mentioned as Rock Laroux’s best friend. And of course, Nurse Billie was at the hospital with Rock and then mentioned in Home of Her Heart as Klayne Campbell’s nurse, too.

Dream of Her HeartIs there room for love in a time of war?

Days before he must ship out to prepare for a dangerous mission in the Pacific, Lieutenant Zane West crosses Oregon to see a good friend who has been wounded in action. He arrives at the veteran’s hospital, only to discover the army captain has disappeared without a trace. As Zane searches for answers, he finds himself captivated by a beautiful and spunky nurse who offers her help. Is she the key to his future, or an unwelcome distraction from his important wartime mission?

Nurse Billie Brighton puts her heart and boundless energy into caring for wounded soldiers, but she vowed long ago never to let one of the dashing rogues turn her head. That is, until a handsome lieutenant arrives seeking his missing friend. Thoroughly enchanted, she can’t help but break her own rules. Has she finally found the love she secretly longs for, or is she headed for heartbreak?

Step back in time to 1942 with a sweet, charming World War II romance full of history, heart, and a happily ever after.

TEASER:

Regardless of the location, it seemed hospitals all smelled the same. He’d spent a few weeks in one when he’d injured his leg and couldn’t wait to get out. Considering the months Rock had been a patient, he couldn’t even begin to think about how much his friend must want to leave.

He walked up to the nurse’s station and waited. The nurse had her back to him, jotting down notes on a chart. The woman was short in stature, but plenty of curves were evident beneath her uniform. Hair the color of summer wheat coiled into curls at the back of her head and around the edges of her nurse’s cap.

A slight whiff of perfume, one he recognized as a popular choice among the females he’d been around the last few years, tickled his nose. On this woman, though, it held a deeper, richer fragrance of spices flirting with citrus-infused bouquets. If he had plans to be in town more than a few days, he might even ask the woman on a date. As it was, he tried to keep from being distracted by females. Married to his career and dedicated to serving in the war, he didn’t have time left over for courting.

Impatient to see Rock, Zane cleared his throat. The woman spun around, stealing his breath as his gaze collided with hers. Big green eyes the color of moss glimmered behind thick lashes. A pert little nose and pink lips added to the flawlessness of her face. She might not be any bigger than a minute, but the nurse was stunning. If she hadn’t been wearing a crisp, white uniform, he might have taken her for a pin-up girl.

When she smiled at him, he felt his mouth stretch into a broad grin. “Howdy, miss.”

“Howdy yourself,” she said, cocking an eyebrow. “May I help you?”

A dozen various lines guaranteed to earn him a smack across the face floated through his mind, but he merely snatched the hat off his head and nodded. “I sure hope you can.

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I have two fun tidbits of news to share with you today.

Celebrate background with balloons.

This week marks my fifth anniversary of saying adios to my day job and beginning the adventure of writing full-time.

I’m sure glad I took that leap of faith and I’m so, so grateful to all my readers for their ongoing readership, encouragement and support. Thank you!

To celebrate this milestone, I’m giving away five $10 Amazon Gift Cards. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Aug. 14.

To enter to win, just follow this link and fill out the info!

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Today, Bobbins and Boots is on sale for just 99 cents!

If you haven’t yet read the book, it is book 4 in the Baker City Brides series.

How does an act of kindness result in… marriage?

 One carefree cowboy is about to find out in this sweet historical romance!

 Born dirt-poor into a life of hardship, Allie Tillman seizes the opportunity to better her situation by answering an advertisement for a mail-order bride in the West. Upon her arrival in Baker City, Oregon, she discovers her intended is a low-down, lying thief. Determined not to marry him, she grasps at the one thing that will keep him from forcing her to be his wife — marrying another man.

Good-natured cowboy Ben Amick had no idea a simple trip into town would completely change his life. When he happens upon a mail-order bride desperate to avoid marrying her fiancé, Ben does the first thing that pops into his head and weds her. Willingly, he gives her the protection of his name and his arms, never expecting her to capture his heart.

Humorous, heartfelt, and awash in sweet romance, Bobbins and Boots captures the tender and tumultuous emotions of falling in love.

~*~

And here’s a fun little excerpt:

Thane rocked back so hard, he had to scramble to keep from tipping off the chunk of wood. “You did what?”

“I married Miss Tillman. It all happened so fast, I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d done until I was partway home. I went to the bank, took money from my account, and left it at the jail for Tully to give Joe. I figured him punching me in the stomach and threatening to shoot me was worth a fifteen-dollar discount. Then I got Pastor Eagan and we went to the boardinghouse. He married us. I remember signing a marriage certificate and Hattie and Edwin witnessing the ceremony, but everything else is kind of a blur.”

Thane jumped up and looked around. “Where’s your wife, Ben? What did you do with her?”

As though he finally regained his full mental faculties, Ben stood while a look of panic settled on his face. “I left her at the boardinghouse. I didn’t even think about bringing her home with me.” Ben groaned and sank back down on the stump. “I stepped in it good this time, Thane. What am I gonna do with a wife? I’m too young to be married. I don’t even have a house. I’m no better than Joe Lambery.”

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Mom and Dad 68th anniversary

Yesterday, Mom and Dad celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. (Wow, right?!?)

A few weeks ago, my dad called and asked what I was doing on August 5th. Well aware of what day it was, I played dumb and asked him what he had in mind. He wanted to go for a drive and meet Captain Cavedweller and me halfway between our two homes (which is about three hours).

My oldest brother and sister-in-law drove Mom and Dad to a little town about an hour from where they live and we met them there for lunch.  It was so nice to see them and be able to celebrate their special day with them. I tried to get them to tell me when and how dad proposed, but they both claim they don’t remember. I might have to do a little more digging to see if I can get the story out of them.

honeymoon camping

I may not know how he proposed or when or where, but I do know they spent their honeymoon camping (which would be my idea of torture!) Here they are at the campsite. I have no idea who took the photo of them, but Dad sure looks like he’s having a great time.

Before we left to meet them yesterday, I was digging around through some old photos and came across a postcard a cousin had given me.

Back in 1949, after they graduated from high school, my dad went on two deployments with the Naval Reserve. One of them was to Alaska, the other to Hawaii.

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Wasn’t he handsome in his uniform!

Anyway, Dad sent a postcard in August to his oldest sister, who was by then married. The postcard showed a photograph of the garden at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel – and it was Kodachrome, a full-color image! The postcard had no address on it, just the town and state where they lived and it was written in pencil – but the words are still crisp and clear even 69 years later!

On the back, Dad had written:

Hi Sis and Hub,

Well, here I am in Honolulu, Hawaii, 3,000 miles from home and my girl, but it is worth it. This is the most beautiful place I ever saw. 

See ya’ 

I thought it was so cute he mentioned Mom and was thinking of her even then.  He did bring her back a few treasures.

Mom and Aunt Rob grass skirt

Including this grass skirt outfit.  Love mom’s beautiful smile. The grinning girl on the steps wearing the Hawaiian Island t-shirt (most likely a gift from dad) is dad’s sister, my beloved Aunt Robbie.

I just loved this little peek into their courting days.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. Here’s to more wonderful years together.

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Today, I thought you might like to see my inspiration for the characters in Summer Bride.

First, we have Justin James. I knew I wanted to have dark hair, a little messy and longer, and kind eyes.

When I saw this photo of David Giuntoli it was like there was a neon sign hanging over it saying “This is the one! This is Justin!”

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This is exactly how I picture our hunky, handsome, ever-helpful hero.

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Seriously, isn’t he a cutie? Can’t you just picture him in the crazy T-shirt Matilda gives him?

Sage Presley we met briefly in Valentine Bride (book 1 in the Holiday Brides series). But we didn’t know much about her.

I envisioned her as blond, with a sweetness about her that belied her inner strength. I pictured her as very feminine and lovely although she’s tough and capable of handling whatever challenges life throws her way.

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I thought Skyler Samuels made the best Sage. She’s lovely and has that delicate look to her.

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But a fun, playful side, too! I just loved the inspiration she provided for Sage.

Then I needed a little inspiration for Sage’s brother, Shane.

Colby Canterbury

Colby Canterbury was my choice for Shane Presley. From the hair and green eyes, to that soulful look on his face, he was just perfect for Shane.

The song I listed to while I wrote this book kept me smiling as I pictured Justin asking his friends this question:

Such a fun song from Joe Nichols.

Oh, and I have to share the ringtone Sage uses for Justin on her cell.

If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy of Summer Bride today!

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Summer Bride

releases today!

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Two scheming matchmakers are at it again…

Sage Presley loves her job as the receptionist at Golden Skies Retirement Village in Holiday, Oregon. She enjoys the residents and their wisdom, even if some of them are more than a little quirky. Determined to ignore the matchmaking efforts of two women at the retirement home, Sage’s sole focus is on raising her brother, Shane. In spite of her best efforts, she can’t help but notice the hunky electrician who continually comes to her rescue.

Grateful for the opportunity to open his own electrical business, Justin James moves to Holiday full of plans and dreams. He’s quickly drawn in by the close-knit community, but finds the lack of suitable single women disturbing. Despite himself, his attention is captured by the receptionist at the retirement home where he’s working on a big job. Yet, he can’t begin to understand why two matchmaking octogenarians are intent on forcing him together with the woman he’s convinced is married.

A sweet romance sprinkled with humor, hope, and the meaning of real love, Summer Bride will warm the hearts of readers while bringing them a smile.

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Summer Bride meme 5

Justin’s grin faded and he gave her a curious look before he glanced down the table at Shane. His gaze shifted back to her. “Isn’t Shane your son?”

Sage choked on the sip of lemonade she’d just swallowed. Matilda whacked her on the back as she coughed into a napkin. When she ceased coughing and could speak again, she shook her head. “Shane is my brother.”

Eyes wide in shock, Justin gaped at her. “Your brother? So you aren’t… you don’t have… Are you married?”

Had Sage taken another drink, she was sure she would have spewed it all over Justin. It was a good thing she’d merely sat glaring at him in disbelief. What on earth had given him the idea she was married and Shane was her son? How old did he think she was, anyway?

“She isn’t married,” Matilda said when Sage remained silent. “She doesn’t even have a boyfriend right now, do you, darling?” The old woman appeared to size up Justin before she leaned toward him. “Are you interested?”

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